Pastoral psychology

Between mental illness and faith: the commission of pastoral care

Author
Lawrence Morganfield III
Abstract
This dissertation was researched to discover how churches are meeting the needs of the mentally ill parishioners. It is not yet known how deeply mental illness has affected the church, but its influences are being felt to the point where the church cannot sit by idly and ignore these needs or hope that they will go away. Unfortunately, many church leaders have not incorporated support for the mentally ill in their pastoral care repertoire yet. The goal of this study is to explore aspects of how the church is responding to this need and how it ministers to mentally ill parishioners and then provide recommendations for spiritual care and growth for this growing segment of the church.

Spiritual abuse in church leadership: finding a way through

Author
Stacey Davis-Agee
Abstract
Literature addresses how spiritual abuse manifests itself in the church, the impact on those wounded by the abuse, and how to find healing. This study was designed to explore how associate pastors experience restoration from spiritual abuse by a lead pastor. The study utilized a qualitative research method, semi-structured interviews with six pastors, and the constant comparative method to analyze the data. The research examined associate pastors' experiences of contentious relationships created by their lead pastors and their journey towards resolution. The study concluded that healing and recovery are possible with the support of safe individuals and when they learn language to identify and acknowledge their experiences.

Pastoral shame lifting

Author
Travis J. Marshall
Abstract
Shame contaminates the health and wholeness of all systems and relationships the shamed participates in. Knowing that a pastor will inevitably experience shame, what practices must come into regular church life process for shame resilience to become the norm? Hidden shame experiences and even more shame triggers lurk in pastoral offices everywhere, and so how can pastors become aware of their shame and experience the process of healing? These questions and more will be explored through the areas of vulnerability, empathy and the sacrament of the Eucharist so that pastors may experience shame-lifting and the process of healing from shame, both personally and in their church communities.

Empowering American Baptist Pastors of Pastoral-Size Churches to Develop Psychological and Theological Resilience in an Age of Disestablishment

Author
Michael Wayne Oldham D.Min.
Abstract
Mainline churches no longer enjoy the status of being the "established" religion in today's culture. The implications of this disestablishment have left churches and pastors feeling frustrated, powerless and often hopeless. This project is a case study of how a combination of video chats and incremental learning resources increased the psychological and theological resilience of American Baptist pastors who serve in pastoral-size churches. This study showed that this process was effective in helping pastors develop a renewed sense of hope and direction for their ministry and might be used in other mainline as well as evangelical denominations. This project will focus on the role of the pastor as the key leader in their church.

Preaching to the Heart: Investigating Theory and Practice Among Sydney Anglican Preachers

Author
Andrew Katay D.Min.
Abstract
This project explores the theory and practice of preaching to the heart. Biblically, the heart is a focal point both of the content of transformation in Christ, and the motivating power by which transformation takes place. To understand the nature and operations of the heart, first Scripture, and then secondarily three ‘theologians of the heart’ - Augustine, Aquinas and Jonathan Edwards - are examined. Subsequently, seven principles are elucidated to preach to the heart. This theory is used to analyze ten sermons from each of eight preachers. The study concludes with a program to better equip preachers to preach to the heart.

A Discovery Project of Equine Assisted Therapy in Relationship to God

Author
Carissa Kay Henry
Abstract
A Discovery Project of Equine Assisted Therapy in Relationship to God by Carissa Kay Henry:
The purpose of this project was to discover the degree to which a select group of Christian therapists understands the ways in Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) can mirror young adults' relationships with God. The discover project consisted of an assessment tool created and implemented for qualitative and quantitative responses.
The most prominent finding was the Christian therapists have the ability to view the relationships of young adults with God and see those relationships improve through Equine Assisted Therapy. Application and recommendations for further research are offered for consideration.

An Impact Study About the Effects of Unprocessed Trauma

Author
Pamela D Nelson
Abstract
An Impact Study About the Effects of Unprocessed Trauma:
The purpose of this project was to impact the understanding of unprocessed trauma by using an eight week formational prayer model at City Covenant Church in Detroit, Michigan. The project included a quantitative and qualitative pre-test, post-test design that measured the participants' understanding of the effects of unprocessed trauma.
As a results of this study, participants increased in their knowledge about common triggers to past experiences. Participants demonstrated an increased understanding in their ability to process a previous trauma experience, and participants developed an awareness about how trauma interferes with a relationship to God.

AN AUTOETHNOGRAPHIC EXPLORATION OF MY CPE LEARNING PROCESS

Author
Anurag Mani D.Min.
Abstract
In this project I explore the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) learning process through the lenses of my human condition: my being an immigrant who was born and raised outside the United States of America and came to the country and to the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) process in my adulthood. I use the research method of autoethnography to explore and give voice to my experience. As an immigrant, I observe that my experience of my journey to become a CPE Educator has been marked with unique challenges that seemed different to the experience of those who were born and raised in the U.S.A. My research question is: Can a careful analysis and interpretation of my own experience in the CPE education process help other immigrants seeking CPE certification to better understand their own complex and unique experience through this difficult, challenging, and exciting process?

Clergy in crisis: running the race towards healings using crisis intervention and pastoral presence

Author
Denise A Currie-Lowe
Abstract
The context of research was a two-day teaching and interactive workshop at New Bethel AME Church in Lithonia, Georgia. The problem in question was to determine the reasons why clergy face burnout within their context of ministry. The workshop included teaching clergy and lay the definition of crisis, types of crisis, and discussed methods of healing, to include pastoral presence. A mixed methodology of qualitative and quantitative surveys was used to conduct and analyze responses from participants cross-sectionally and longitudinally. The hypothesis tested if crisis workshops are taught, then the levels of clergy burnout and crisis would decrease.

A qualitative study of doubt in the evangelical tradition

Author
Benjamin B Young
Abstract
This project explord the difference between evangelicals who doubted and stayed in the evangelical faith and those who left the fold. Grounded theory was the primary research methodology and data was gathered from interviews with people who struggled with doubt. This data was used to develop a strategy for people going through doubt and for pastors helping others process doubt. Pastors need to provide a safe place to doubt by listening and being patient, and by waiting to see how God will work in the lives of the people who are struggling with doubt.
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